|Transit Police/Franco Contino|
On May 8, 2013 at approximately 4:53pm an MBTA bus operator was driving a route 426 bus which had originated from Haymarket MBTA station. While in the vicinity of the 100 block on Lincoln Avenue in Saugus the bus operator pulled over to let passengers off. At this time a male passenger who was exiting began to use foul language and insults directed at the operator. The bus operator confused as to what precipitated the male's anger towards him asked if the male was getting off the bus or remaining on board. The male did not respond but intently stared at the operator. The operator then closed the door and attempted to continue on. At this time the male shouted for the operator to stop and open the doors, the operator complied with the request and the male exited but remained in the doorway preventing the operator from closing the door. Suddenly the male re-boarded the bus and attacked the operator by placing both his hands around the operator's throat and choking him. At this time the bus was in gear but the operator had his foot on the brake. The operator was able to engage the emergency brake system thus preventing the bus from rolling forward.
Another male passenger who was witnessing the attack intervened and was able to extract the assailant's hands from the operator's throat and bring the assailant to the floor of the bus. The assailant was able to flee from the area.
On May 14, 2013 at approximately 11:30am Transit Police detectives subsequent to an investigation arrested Franco Contino, 59 of Saugus for the attack described herein. Contino was placed into custody at the MBTA Haymarket station and transported to Transit Police HQ for the arrest booking process. Contino is expected to be arraigned in Lynn District Court sometime tomorrow for Interfering with Public Transportation and Assault and Battery on a Public Employee.
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